Rapid-Onset Gender Dysphoria - A Topic for Debate
María Fernández Rodríguez1*, Guerra-Mora P2, and Martínez-Menéndez N3
1Mental Health Center “La Magdalena”, University Hospital San Agustín, Spain
2Clinical Psychologist, HUSA
3Psychologist Internal Resident (HUSA, Avilés)
María Fernández Rodríguez, Mental Health
Center “La Magdalena”, University Hospital San Agustín, Valdés Salas, 4,
33400 Avilés, Asturias, Spain, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Submitted: 02 June 2019; Accepted: 03 June 2019; Published: 04 June 2019
Cite this article:
Haider MN, O’Donnell K, Bezherano I, Horvath PJ, Leddy JJ,et al.
(2019) Retired Professional Contact Sport Athletes are more sedentary and
consume fewer brain healthy nutrients than Non-contact Sport Controls. J
Sexual Med Reprod Health 2: 2.
Several publications from specialized units report changes
in the demands of children with gender dysphoria. There is an
increase of requests for help from minors [1-7], as well as a
change in the ratio [5,6,8]. At the beginning, in 2007, the Gender
Identity Treatment Unit of Asturias (UTIGPA) received few
requests from children. At that time users were older. Many of
them claimed to have felt gender dysphoria since an early age.
Nowadays, the demands of children have multiplied. An extensive
investigation is being carried out in the unit of Asturias to find out
the characteristics of the children’s demands.
Some authors [9,10] point out the emergence of the
phenomenon called Rapid-Onset Gender Dysphoria (ROGD).
In UTIGPA some users refer their gender dysphoria starting
suddenly in adolescence. They claim no experience of gender
dysphoria during childhood and their families claim not to have
noticed anything in regard either. This sudden onset of gender
dysphoria contrasts with the backgrounds of other users who
refer life stories marked by gender dysphoria: most of them had
always noticed gender dysphoria. Some new users refer to the
beginning of the feeling of confusion when they became teenagers.
Getting in contact with other people’s experiences, through social
media or real life, they came to understand the discomfort they
suffered as related with their experience of gender.
Kaltiala-Heino et al., research at Tampere University
Hospital with a group of adolescents with gender dysphoria
with no gender nonconformity during childhood. They describe
teenagers suffering from depression and anxiety, who may
exhibit self-injurious, isolated behaviors and experiences of
bullying (preceding dysphoria). The authors consider teenagers
expect gender transition would solve problems from academic,
occupational, social and personal spheres.
Marchiano points out two main factors on the phenomenon
of rapid-onset gender dysphoria: an increase in the use of social
networks and internet, and getting in relationship with peers identified as transgender. This author highlights the influence of
“social contagion”, although she considers the etiology of gender
dysphoria related to biological, social and psychological factors.
She fears young people could identify themselves as trans as a way
to channel feelings of discomfort with their bodies or to look for a
solution for their social, academic or mental health problems. The
author also fears homosexual people could identify themselves
as trans due to family and social pressures and thus initiate
a gender transition. To learn more about ROGD phenomenon
Littman  conducts an internet survey for parents describing
these particular adolescents with gender dysphoria as different
from others described as transgender. Yet activists and authors
criticized Littman analysis. Restar  exposes methodological
limitations in the survey and she raises the need for research
methodologies based on the life experience of the transgender
population. In fact, Littman has recently published an article
 recognizing failures and declaring ROGD as a non validated
clinical phenomenon .
The seventh version of the Standards of Care  refers
differences between children and teenagers with gender
dysphoria. The 7th versión quotes several studies [16,17] noticing
adolescents and adults with gender dysphoria with no childhood
gender nonconformity. As well, the DSM-5  considers the
late-onset gender dysphoria when person do not remember
any similar desire in childhood or did not tell it to anyone.
Nowadays, for the WPATH  the knowledge of the factors that
contribute to the development of gender identity in adolescence
is still evolving and it is not yet fully understood. Therefore, they
consider inappropiate and premature using labels (as the ROGD)
that can lead to absolute conclusions about the development of
Acording to Serano  prejudicies towards transgender
people may be connected to ROGD phenomenon. When a
daughter or a son define her or himself as trans, the family could
go through an initial period of blockage and consider dysphoria
as a temporary phenomenon, related to peers pressure. In
Littman survey parents inform about difficulties on adaptation
and parent-child relationship more than about teenager identity.
It is suggested assessing this phenomenon in relation to family
Although each user faces her or his own needs, desires and
obstacles, we observe similar goals and challenges on people with
gender dysphoria now and before: acceptance and understanding
or struggle against stigma and discrimination... Nowadays
LGTBIQ+ people can communicate and support each other
more than before, but stigma and harassment are unfortunately
still alive. But also, society is changing and the resources and
mechanisms to seek for help and the understanding of gender dysphoria is also in change. Regardless of the clinical evidence of
ROGD, the main issue at the identity gender units is to accompany
teenagers and families in the identity process, explore their
gender, strengthen own resources and help cope with difficulties.